Quote Originally Posted by omaha View Post
- Currently there are a few Beselers and the above mentioned Saunders enlarger on my local Craigslist. Frankly, they are cheap enough that I probably should buy one of each, but otherwise, how do I choose? From what I gather, the Beseler is far more common (true?) which suggests to me a greater availability of spare parts over time.
I own a couple of Beselers at the moment. If you are going to do the multiple enlarger thing I would get two from the same company. The lens boards are interchangeable between the Beseler 23C and the Beseler 45. Make sure you get as many assessoires with your enlarger as possible (lens boards, different format negative carriers, large developing trays, contrast filters, safe lights, timers, grain focuser, easels, etc). Lenses can be bought in mint condition on the used market for not much money. An EL-NIKKOR 50mm f/2.8N can be had for $40 or less. It is good for 35mm film. The Schneider 80mm f/4 Componon-S can be had for $80 or less. It is good for up to 6x6 negatives. Unlike some other 80mm lenses it is not ideal for 6x7.

What I found is buying things in a package deal is a lot cheaper. The only thing I really went out of my way to buy separately are my lenses. I actually ended up with multiple enlargers because I needed a particular negative carrier. It was going to cost me over $50 to get one. So I bought a whole enlarger with the needed carrier and tons of other stuff for less than $40.